Zonnebloem Fine Art Shiraz/Malbec 2001

Winemaker Michael Bucholz describes the blend as yielding an interesting amalgam of flavours. He says the smoky, spicy character of the Shiraz provides a backdrop and balance to the melon, wild berry and gamey flavours of the Malbec. “It reigns in the Malbec, giving the blend an elegance and good structure.” He recommends serving the wine with smoked meats and robust cheeses.

variety : Shiraz | Blend
winery : Zonnebloem Wines
winemaker : Michael Bucholz
wine of origin : Coastal
analysis : alc : 13.7 % vol  rs : 2.1 g/l  pH : 3.5  ta : 5.7 g/l  

ageing : The wine will come into its own over the next year and hold its peak for at least five years.

in the vineyard : The blend is the first of its type in South Africa. It is dominated by Shiraz (60%), sourced from a single Stellenbosch vineyard, grown in medium to deep gravel soil with some shallow sandy soil. Planted in 1996, the vines yielded around 9 tons per hectare. Despite their youth, they produced fruit with pronounced smoky and spicy flavours. The Malbec came from a bush vineyard atop the Perdeberg in Paarl that received supplementary irrigation. Situated high on the slopes in weathered granite and sandy soils, the south-east facing vineyard, often shrouded in mist, is in a cool-growing area, warmed by the morning sun rather than the more intense, later heat of the day. This is the second crop of this five-year-old vineyard, which yielded no more than 4 tons per hectare.

about the harvest: Each varietal was individually vinified. The Shiraz was picked at 24.8° Balling and the Malbec at 24° Balling.

in the cellar : The Shiraz spent two weeks on the skins and the Malbec, 10 days. In both instances, the pressed juice was added back to the free run juice. Malolactic fermentation occurred in the tanks. The Shiraz was aged in a combination of French and Eastern European oak, with the latter giving additional spicy notes. The Malbec was tank-matured to preserve its distinctive flavours.

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